As one of the biggest assets you own, your home understandably costs a lot of your time and money to maintain. Since time began, people have been looking for ways to reduce that cost, yet still maintain a home that is comfortable and welcoming. Saving money and making home ownership more affordable isn’t hard if you follow some simple energy saving tips that can help not only your bottom line but the environment as well.
1. Let There Be Light
One of the biggest energy drains in your home can be simply lighting your home. It is also one of the easier fixes. If you currently have traditional halogen light bulbs lighting your home, you might want to consider switching to compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs) or LED bulbs. These bulbs might cost more up front, but your home’s energy bill will show immediate improvement.
CFLs and LED bulbs also offer the advantage of long bulb life, so not only do you save in the short term with reduced energy costs, but you also save over the long run by not needing to buy as many replacement bulbs. Changing from halogen bulbs to CFLs or LEDS is perhaps the easiest compromise you can make.
Your first target for switching out your old, inefficient bulbs should be your bathroom and your front porch. Outdoor porch or post lamps typically are the most-used bulbs in and around your home. A close second is the lighting for your bathroom vanity.
2. Let’s Vent
Most energy saving tips concentrate on keeping outside air from penetrating your home, but roofs run counterintuitive to that rule. Proper ventilation of your attic is another great way to help your home run more efficiently and require less maintenance. While many homeowners take the step of installing an attic exhaust fan to help control the climate in the home, it isn’t necessary to properly ventilate your attic.
It’s important to make sure your attic is ventilated for the simple fact that it keeps your roof’s decking and support structures dry and free of the risk of rot. Ensuring proper ventilation is as easy as installing some soffit and roof vents.
So why go to all the work of insulating your attic to keep your home warm or cold, then ventilate so outside air gets in easily? Keeping the area under your roof cold helps prevent the formation of ice dams at your gutters, which can lead to roof damage. In the summer, natural air flow keeps hot air from being trapped in your living spaces, stagnating and making your air conditioner ultimately work harder.
3. Easy Everyday Changes
Some energy saving tips won’t cost you a dime but simply require changing your lifestyle habits. Making the effort to go the extra mile may not make the huge differences that other fixes can, but they all add up.
For example, washing all your clothes in cold water instead can help you save up to $63 a year. Break that down into savings per day, and it may seem like a drop in the bucket. Combine that with only washing full loads, however, and the savings can start to add up.
Something simple like using the right size burner on your stove can make a difference as well. Placing a small 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner can waste 40 percent of the energy used. Making that simple switch can save you up to $36 per year.
4. Let A Star Guide You
The Energy Star label has now almost become ubiquitous when it comes to electronic devices. You might be surprised how many electronic appliances and devices in your home now have an Energy Star-approved choice, however. The usual suspects like refrigerators and washing machines are expected, but you can also find approved Energy Star pool pumps, cable boxes, VoIP phones and central AC units. You can also find the Energy Star label on non-electric items such as skylights, sealant products, and roof construction materials.
In addition to saving up to 30 percent on energy costs by using certain appliances, there are also a number of refunds and tax credits that can be accessed by using Energy Star-certified products.
Protecting your top asset and keeping it running efficiently is easy when you heed some easy-to-employ energy saving tips.